Showers of Joy

It rained so hard last night I thought our house would float away. This morning was still dreary and muggy, but the clouds parted for my dear friend’s baby shower. The event was as beautiful as the day turned out to be. My friend glowed and laughed as she thanked all of us for the gifts we brought for her new bundle of joy.
I only knew a few people there but I got to catch up with an old friend. I’ve seen her a few times in the past couple of months and we’ve chatted about her upcoming wedding, her amazing job, my kids and this blog. She’s very sweet and asked me how I was doing with all of this stuff. I didn’t want to blow her off because it was so kind of her to ask, but I also didn’t want to dive into it with other people at the table who I didn’t know. So I just said, “oh it’s fine, thanks”. It can be kind of a downer and I don’t like to bring it up at such a joyous event.
Herein lies my catch 22. While I want to spread awareness and encourage others to be informed so they can make the decision that’s right for them regarding the BRCA gene, I try to pick the time and the place. I’m not always good about doing that. There were plenty of women at the shower who I didn’t know, who possibly could have benefitted from this conversation, but we were there to welcome this new baby and shower his or her mother with gifts from the heart.
We have another baby shower to go to tomorrow. It’s a Jack and Jill shower for one of my husband’s best friends. We all went to high school together and we all stood by as his mother battled breast cancer and eventually lost the fight. It was a devastating loss as her beautiful light went out. She had three sons who adored her and all three have since had (or are about to have) children of their own. I have been too chicken to broach the topic with our friend about whether or not he or his brothers have been tested for the BRCA gene. It’s just never felt like the right time for what may be an emotionally charged discussion. In some ways, I feel like I’m doing him an injustice by not talking to him about it, especially because he is about to have a daughter. This information may save her life one day. Again, tomorrow is not the time to bring up BRCA testing. I don’t want to unearth the painful memories of his mother’s passing, but I hope one day I can find a way to ask him and his brothers if they have been tested. I hope they will see it as an opportunity to protect themselves and their children. But this weekend, it’s about showering these new little dolls with the love and support they need as they enter the world. And, of course, giving their parents all of the baby crap they need to keep them comfortable, safe and happy.

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